Ever since the internet appeared, companies have taken a high interest in their online reputation. Today, as the expansion of the internet has transformed it into a fast paced, highly competitive environment for countless sites and millions of businesses, this concept is more important than ever when it comes to properly promoting your brand.
What Is Online Reputation Management?
Online reputation management (ORM) is basically a service that places at a company’s disposal all the tools and resources necessary for it to gain a significantly higher degree of control on how well it is presented on the internet.
Various methods are used to emphasize the positive aspects of the products, services, policy and customer service of the company, while also ensuring that defamatory and negative reviews are effectively suppressed.
Essentially, therefore, the goal is to improve your brand’s image online, so that, if new customers look for you, they will only find positive reviews that will gain their trust and place your business in a better light.
The Importance of ORM for Active Internet Businesses
These days, the importance of ORM is undeniable. Virtually all businesses that have some form of online presence need a clean reputation if they hope to attract new clients and increase their profits.
As you may have suspected, however, even the companies that offer the best services and manufacture products that work almost perfectly have a difficult time getting spotless reviews and 5 star ratings. There will always be someone who posts a review to point out various deficiencies (real or not) or to simply exaggerate some mildly negative aspects of a business’ approach that are often of little or no consequence.
A recent study conducted by professor Michael Luca at the Harvard Business School has shown how high ratings on the famous review site, Yelp, often leads to increases in revenue of over 8% in the case of independent restaurants operating in Seattle. The study also showed how, in only one month, more than 63 million people have used Yelp to find information about companies before spending their money on their products and how, in more than 80% of the cases, a single negative review was enough to change their minds.
All this shows that companies need online reputation management in order to get better ratings, improve their relationships with their clients and reduce the effects of any type of crisis that may arise as a result of negative content posted on blogs, review sites or any other noteworthy online location.
Effective ORM Methods
Simply being aware that ORM is needed will, of course, not solve anything. A proactive approach is needed if you want to effectively keep track of your company’s online reputation and use any countermeasures necessary to diminish the effect of a threat.
Apart from this, publishing quality online content, broadening your horizon to a variety of high PR sites (social network, social bookmarking, consumer review sites, blogging communities etc.), as well as curating your business profile to highlight and present the best aspects regarding your company’s history and policy are your best chances for improving your online reputation.
You can also gain a lot by contracting one of the ORM businesses that have emerged lately, such as Spotless Rep, which can show you all you need to know about improving your online reputation and give you the tools required to get the job done properly.
ORM may not solve all your problems, of course, but it will considerably improve your chances of building a solid reputation for your business and becoming the leading brand in your niche. The profit potential alone would be worth taking into account, not to mention that the more people start trusting your company, the less you have to worry about negative reviews in the long run.